Cuban Takes Flopping To Scientific Levels

HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — Mark Cuban has long tried to affect NBA officiating. He’s racked up more than $250,000 in fines over the years to prove it.

Now he’s putting his money to a different, perhaps more impactful use. Apparently the Dallas Mavericks owner is as frustrated by professional floppers as the rest of us, so he’s taking the flop to scientific levels. Cuban is teaming up with biomechanics experts at SMU in Dallas “to carry out a scientific study of the unsavory practice of player flopping in basketball and other sports.”

The Cuban-owned company Radical Hoops Ltd. awarded a grant of more than $100,000 to fund the 18-month research study.

“The issues of collisional forces, balance and control in these types of athletic settings are largely uninvestigated,” said SMU biomechanics expert Peter G. Weyand, who leads the research team, in a release. “There has been a lot of research into balance and falls in the elderly, but relatively little on active adults and athletes.”

Weyand is an associate professor of applied physiology and biomechanics in the SMU Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development and will work with a team of researchers on this project.

Of course, we’ve all seen flopping and continue to see it through the NBA playoffs despite the league’s crackdown this season with its anti-flopping legislation that fined players who were deemed to have flopped — a deliberate act of falling or flailing or recoiling unnecessarily from a nearby opponent, to deceive game officials. As the SMU research team accurately notes: Athletes engage in dramatic flopping to create the illusion of illegal contact, hoping to bait officials into calling undeserved fouls on opponents.

Before Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals, commissioner David Stern said the league initial fine of $5,000 has not deterred the floppers as hoped and new a set of penalties might be necessary.

The objective of the Cuban-SMU research is to investigate the forces involved in typical basketball collisions:

The researchers will look at how much force is required to cause a legitimate loss of balance. They’ll also examine to what extent players can influence the critical level of force via balance and body control. They will also explore techniques by which the forces involved in collisions might be estimated from video or other motion capture techniques.

The research findings could conceivably contribute to video reviews of flopping and the subsequent assignment of fines, Weyand said. “It may be possible to enhance video reviews by adding a scientific element, but we won’t know this until we have the data from this study in hand.”

There certainly has been plenty of material for the SMU researchers to collect in these playoffs alone, and likely more to come starting with Sunday’s Game 2.

Let the scientific flopping research begin.


  1. bodjee says:

    At least one owner cares for the spirit of fair play in the NBA. I guess the other owners are content with the status quo and the deceptions.

    I am sure The NBA has its own scientific results to prove the fining of the players that has flopped and I hope they share it with the referees so that they can make the decision when it counts instead of going to the NBA lab.

    I wonder if Mr. Cuban has a suggestion for the late bad calls that we have witnessed in the last regular season.

  2. J says:

    what a waste of money

  3. J says:

    i bet there was no flopping back in the 60s cause they were tough as nails and take it like a man or dont take it at all

  4. It’s actually a great and useful piece of information. I am glad that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  5. SmoothMM says:

    Sounds interesting…. I wonder what the results will be…

  6. JJEB says:

    Basketball as we all know is a form of entertainment, and entertainment without some acting is boring. So in my humble opinion Mark Cuban is wasting his time and money trying to study the act of flopping, instead Mark should have spent the money researching why he blew up a team that just won a championship the previous season. The victims of this witch hunt will be both the players, team owners especially Mark Cuban and the league.

    • Andy Blacksmith says:

      The team blew up because players chose to leave, nothing he can do about that.

  7. mee(a)t says:

    am i the only one who finds this laughable?

  8. manitocat says:

    He could save his money and just talk to Dirk- the king of flops.

  9. blaz says:

    This is rather bull…t because it takes different force to get out of balance person that is: already out of balance, well grounded, on one leg, on both legs, low on legs, high on legs, rising, going down, etc. So refs will, as today, have to rely on their own asessment, and the study will not make a chandge. Mainly, because ref has parts of second to make decision, hundreds times a game. No study will give them confidence, but their own experience.

    • bleble says:

      The study is in order to review flops after the games and not during games to influence ref calls.

    • ASDF says:

      knowledge gives everyone confidence; plus if you actually paid attention (tip: thinking about stuff helps to figure things out) you’d see where they talk about video review and post-game scenarios being the principle area it could help in

    • aaaaaa says:

      It may not change the calls in game, but that’s not what it’s for, it’s for the review so that more players will get fined, and if they’re getting fined they will be less likely to keep flopping.

  10. sam says:

    that would be hard for the heat floppers

  11. Letty says:

    I’m struggling to pay bills and this man is wasting all this money, doesn’t he have something better to do? Cuban and all those researchers should just play basketball with some of these 6ft-7ft guys or round up some dirty players and receive an elbow to the face, a kick in the groin or stomach and personally measure the amount of force of a “flopper” themselves!

    • Carlos says:

      Letty, be smart, it’s Cuban’s money. He have all the rights to spend it to his satisfaction. If your struggling to pay your bills, that’s your problem. Focus on that instead of looking where Cuban is spending his!

    • LakersWillWin says:

      Get a better job! Don’t worry about how he spends the money HE earned.

    • allen says:

      hey, he’s in the basketball industry and he’s investing (not “wasting”) money to provide a more honest product to fans who don’t want to see their team lose because the other team were better actors. what’s wrong with that? so some researchers get to pick up a temporary job on top of that – it’s not like Cuban went out and bought himself a useless item with the $100k like a golden umbrella stand. and have you seen some of the ridiculous studies our own government grants millions of $ to examine? .

    • T,jackson says:

      It’s not his fault you are struggling.

    • aaaaaa says:

      He is doing everyone who is not a Miami Heat fan a favor by doing this. I try to be the least biased I can, and whereas other players do flop a lot too, the Miami Heat collectively do it the most and it so annoying to anyone who wants to watch a fair basketball game (this also applies to how many calls go in favor of them that shouldn’t, but that’s a rant for another day).

    • Are you for real? says:

      Fixing the problem of flopping is easy with the following rule:

      If a foul is called against a team, and that team deems it to be a flop, they may challenge the call. The call will then be subject to video review by the referees. The following outcomes apply:
      A) If the call is deemed to be a flop, the original foul is rescinded, and a personal foul is called on the flopping player.
      B) If the call is upheld, the challenging team loses a challenge. Each team is given 2 challenges per game.

      • FantasyMAN! says:

        This is genius. IMO

      • Andy Blacksmith says:

        Yes, lets stop play for up to 20 minutes a game and ruin the entire flow of the game. That would also solve the problem that occurs during double headers when the first game takes a longer than it should so you miss the first quarter of the next one. If this is genius to you get your head checked.

      • dd def says:

        you realize of course that EVERY foul call would be deemed a flop by the other team and have to be reviewed?